The fateful first meeting of Enza and Ciro takes place amid the haunting majesty of the Italian Alps at the turn of the last century. Still teenagers, they are separated when Ciro is banished from his village and sent to hide in New York’s Little Italy, apprenticed to a shoemaker, leaving a bereft Enza behind. But when her own family faces disaster, she, too, is forced to emigrate to America. Though destiny will reunite the star-crossed lovers, it will, just as abruptly, separate them once again—sending Ciro off to serve in World War I, while Enza is drawn into the glamorous world of the opera . . . and into the life of the international singing sensation Enrico Caruso. Still, Enza and Ciro have been touched by fate—and, ultimately, the power of their love will change their lives forever.
A riveting historical epic of love and family, war and loss, risk and destiny, inspired by the author’s own family history, The Shoemaker’s Wife is the novel Adriana Trigiani was born to write. (Summary provided by Harper Collins.)
From the beautiful cover art and all around gorgeous presentation of the paperback edition of The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani to the breathtaking (and quite heartbreaking) story of Enza and Ciro’s love contained within it’s pages, this novel is the complete package. The Shoemaker’s Wife tells the love story of Ciro Lazzari, left by his mother to be raised in a convent along with his brother in the Italian Alps, and Enza Ravanelli, daughter of Marco (a carriage driver) and devoted mother of six children, Giacomina. Ciro and Enza’s tale is one of loss, heartache, and near misses where the reader is left hoping against hope with every page turned that things will work out for Ciro and Enza.
Trigiani’s book brings history to life as readers travel through the Italian Alps all the way to Ellis Island and onward to Minnesota. Triani’s description of Caruso gracing the stage of The Metropolitan Opera House and the gnocchi Enza eventually cooks for Caruso are a treat to the senses. Enza meets Ciro at age fifteen because of a personal loss and from the moment the two first met I was hoping they would end up together. I loved Enza’s independent spirit and her deep love for her parents and siblings. Enza is one of the most fascinating, strong heroines I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. The way she handles her difficult first days in America living with mean spirited, distant relatives in Hoboken, New Jersey and a horrible work situation at the factory where she toils as a seamstress with such grace is an inspiration. When she arrived at the swank rooming house in the city and acquired a job more suited to her considerable skill, I was cheering for her good fortune.
Ciro’s story of loss and tragedy tugged at my heartstrings throughout the novel. From the circumstances that resulted in Ciro being from his homeland to the United States to his time spent fighting in WWI, my heart ached for him as I read. I wanted Ciro to have a happy ending so bad. Adriana Trigiani makes Ciro come alive for her readers, and I dare any reader not to fall in love with him! He was that swoon-worthy!
Over the course of reading The Shoemaker’s Wife readers live a lifetime with Ciro and Enza and feel every highpoint and low point they experience while waiting for fate to bring them together. The Shoemaker’s Wife is one of the most heartbreaking and romantic books I have ever read. I really think this one needs to be made into a movie, so I can see it on the big screen!
About Adriana Trigiani:
Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker. The author of the Big Stone Gap series; Very Valentine; Brava, Valentine; Lucia, Lucia; The Queen of the Big Time; and Rococo, she has also written the bestselling memoir Don’t Sing at the Table as well as the young adult novels Viola in Reel Life and Viola in the Spotlight. Her books have been published in thirty-six countries, and she has written and will direct the big-screen version of her first novel, Big Stone Gap. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
Many thanks to TLC Book Tours and Adriana Trigiani for including me on the tour for The Shoemaker’s Wife. Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour!
Tuesday, August 21t: The Written World
Wednesday, August 22nd: The Lost Entwife
Friday, August 31st: Booktalk & More
Sunday, September 2nd: Stiletto Storytime
Monday, September 3rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, September 4th: The Well-Read Wife
Wednesday, September 5th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, September 6th: Oh! Paper Pages
Monday, September 10th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, September 11th: Paperspines
Wednesday, September 12th: Reflections of a Bookaholic
Thursday, September 13th: Shall Write
Friday, Septebmer 14th: Drey’s Library
Tuesday, September 18th: My Bookshelf
Friday, September 21st: Book Reviews by Molly
TBD: Twisting the Lens
FTC Disclosure Statement: I received a complimentary review copy of The Shoemaker’s Wife from the publisher. I also receive a small commission from any purchases made by clicking through the Amazon links throughout the site.